Northern Ireland Opera were delighted to present Regina Cox of Inspire with £2,746 raised through the charity gala reception held for the opening night of Rigoletto in September 2018. Our guests made a donation to the charity as part of their ticket to the event, and circulated with the stars of the show at the black tie event following the performance of Rigoletto at the GOH.
Inspire is the largest and longest established independent charity focusing on mental health and wellbeing services in Northern Ireland. At the core of Inspire’s services is the community based support it provides to people who have had experience of mental illness.
‘The money generously donated by Northern Ireland Opera will be used to expand the anti-stigma message to young people across Northern Ireland. As part of our campaign ‘Change Your Mind’, Inspire will be focusing on raising awareness of mental health issues among young people. We are planning to pilot this scheme in schools, sports groups, youth clubs and community groups over the next year in the North Down & Ards area. The plan will be to eventually roll this out across Northern Ireland. The campaign will involve placing Inspiration Points in these venues with information on mental health issues which relate directly to young people: managing exam anxiety, talking openly about mental health concerns, how to deal with cyber bullying. They will also provide signposting to suitable services. As part of this campaign we will also deliver mental health first aid training to teachers, support staff, coaches and community leaders.’
Northern Ireland Opera are proud to be able to have supported Inspire with this key campaign. Working with other charities like Inspire through our outreach work is an important part of our mission. As well as raising money through the gala, during the course of our run of Rigoletto we were able to work in partnership with the Grand Opera House to involve 1200 participants from more than 50 different charities, community groups, schools and organisations across 21 events. These included tours, talks, empowerment workshops, a community dress rehearsal performance and a ‘Come and Sing’ event.
The Northern Ireland Opera Studio is a comprehensive performance and training programme designed to nurture aspiring talent and showcase up-and-coming singers from across Ireland.
The NI Opera Studio is at the heart of the company’s mission to develop emerging operatic talent. For twelve months, up to six promising singers based on the island of Ireland become affiliated artists of the company and are given the opportunity to hone their skills while receiving professional support at a transitional stage in their careers. At the centre of the programme are its studio-scale productions of diverse operatic repertoire. This approach recognises the invaluable contribution of stage experience and collaborative work with creative teams to a singer’s professional career trajectory. The participants also take part in a rigorous, high-quality training scheme including coaching by some of the best vocal tutors in Europe; masterclasses led by opera singers of international stature; stage craft workshops with the NI Opera Artistic Director; language coaching; audition training; resilience training and career advice. Crucially, the Studio also contributes to NI Opera’s outreach activities. Members are not only involved in creating and leading interactive workshops with children, but also perform newly devised or commissioned pieces for young audiences.
Northern Ireland Opera is committed to aid its Studio cohorts in forging useful and sustainable professional relationships within the sector. Many past and current members of the Studio programme also continue to play an important role in the company’s artistic output.
• Regular performances of Studio productions in venues throughout Northern Ireland
• Performances in recitals and at events throughout the year
• Master classes and vocal coaching by some of the industry’s leading professionals
• Language coaching
• Stage craft workshop and audition training
• Resilience training
• Outreach activities
• Opportunity to be involved in NI Opera main-stage productions
• The programme is open to singers who are interested in pursuing a career in opera and would benefit from further educational opportunities
• Participants must be aged between 21 to 35 when the programme starts in September 2019 and domiciled* in Ireland
*You are domiciled in the country where you have your permanent home – domicile is distinct from nationality or residence and you can only have one domicile at any given time. For more information, please consult your Inland Revenue website – www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk /www.revenue.ie*
Email a CV and cover letter stating how the Studio would be valuable to you for the attention of Dafydd Hall Williams, General Manager (maternity cover), Northern Ireland Opera, at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. on 20th May 2019. We would welcome applications from Northern Irish candidates.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an audition and short interview in Belfast on Tuesday 4th June 2019; for more details call the Northern Ireland Opera office on 028 9027 773
As part of our highly successful co-production of Sondheim and Wheeler’s Sweeney Toddwith the Lyric Theatre Belfast, we jointly produced a series of outreach and educational projects with a number of schools.
We are making our resource pack from these events available free for anyone who might find it of use either as part of a drama or music curriculum or for general interest.
Richard Morrison, The Times: ★★★★
‘Steven Page… his portrayal of psychotic, obsessive revenge is spine-shiveringly intense.’
‘A nine-piece band delivers Sondheim’s dark, dissonant score admirably under Sinead Hayes’s direction. And fans of audience participation, and indeed cannibalism, will love the chance to sample Mrs Lovett’s pies.’
Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard International
‘Walter Sutcliffe’s cracking production captures the audience’s attention from the outset…This is a superb production of Sweeney Todd with first rate performances from cast, chorus and instrumentalists. Go and see it!’
Alan In Belfast Blog
‘Director Walter Sutcliffe has created a consistently stylish show that relates its story with heaps of operatic pizzazz but none of the genre’s supposed stuffiness.’
No More Workhorse Blog
‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a dark, thrilling nightmare of a musical that pushes the boundaries of what the genre can and should be. This production veers from comedy to cruelty and horror to heartbreak at a lightning speed, but never sacrifices its delicacy for its darkness. This is a black, shimmering delight of a show; it may be long but once it is over, you wlll want to go right back to the start to watch it over again.’
The Independent ie. ★★★★
‘Steven Page as Sweeney Todd brings immense dignity to this role. His partner in crime Mrs Lovett (Julie Mullins) holds the stage in great style… John Porter as the sailor Anthony Hope, suitor to Johanna, gives a heartfelt performance using his beautiful, honeyed tenor voice to great effect…This offers all the satisfactions of musical Grand Guignol. It is a thoroughly enjoyable show, serving up wit, brio and super-sized meat pies.’
The Irish News
‘The principals, Steven Page as Todd with Patrick Stewart diction and a fine baritone and Julie Mullins as Mrs Lovett are superb… The thrust of Sweeney Todd’s story gripped us. For the cruelty of men is as wondrous as Peru, as the demon barber has it.’
Opera (April 2019)
A Sweeney Todd that swaggered with energy and eagerness to bite… As the titular demon barber, Steven Page returned after last year’s scheming Peachum in The Threepenny Opera to bring simmering, pent-up menace to a vocally contained performance hinting at baleful victimhood as well as bloodthirsty villainy. As his exuberant partner in crime, Julie Mullins’s feisty, fun, strongly sung Mrs Lovett brought a winning blend of sentimentality and sharpness perfectly in keeping with Sondheim’s ‘dark operetta’.